English FA to face media following Capello's exit
Updated: February 09, 2012, 06:02
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LONDON(AP) The English Football Association will give its version of the events that led to Fabio Capello's resignation as coach when it holds a news conference Thursday, and could also give a first hint of who the Italian's successor will be.
Capello quit Wednesday, just four months ahead of the European Championship, angry that he had not been consulted by the FA over its decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy.
The sudden resignation has led to widespread speculation that the FA will hire Harry Redknapp instead. The Tottenham manager was cleared of tax evasion in a London court on the day that Capello quit.
Capello said Terry should have been allowed to lead the side since his criminal trial for racially abusing an opponent is not scheduled until after the June 8-July 1 tournament.
The FA decided on a more cautious approach, leaving Terry available for selection but removing him as the team's figurehead.
FA Chairman David Bernstein is set to speak at Thursday's news conference, giving him and other members of the governing body the chance to expand upon the brief statement it already released.
"We have accepted Fabio's resignation, agreeing this is the right decision,'' Bernstein said in the statement. "We would like to thank Fabio for his work with the England team and wish him every success in the future.''
Capello stood down following an hourlong meeting with officials at Wembley.
Britain's famously influential and vocal newspapers have almost unanimously backed Redknapp as the new coach.
Many of the major dailies had pictures of both Capello and Redknapp on their front pages on Thursday, with tabloid The Sun using the headline "'Arryvederci.''
Redknapp said the speculation was premature.
"I haven't even thought about it,'' Redknapp told Sky Sports News as he arrived at Tottenham's training ground, adding that he was fully focused on continuing the Premier League title push with Spurs. "We have a big game on Saturday (against Newcastle).''
Two of England's most prominent players already backed Redknapp on Twitter.
Striker Wayne Rooney said he was "gutted'' that Capello quit, and then added: "Got to be english to replace him. Harry redknapp for me.''
Manchester United teammate Rio Ferdinand - whose brother Anton accused Terry of racist abuse during a league game between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers last year - echoed Rooney on Thursday.
"I think we need an English manager now, we don't need anything else lost in translation,'' Ferdinand wrote on Twitter. "Harry Redknapp would be my choice by a distance.''
The London-born Redknapp, who has led Tottenham to third place in this season's Premier League, has long spoken of his belief that the next England coach should be English and also that the job is the pinnacle for any Englishman.
However, he has also said that he would personally miss the daily interaction with players that comes with working for a club.
"I think we're jumping the gun a little bit here,'' Keith Mills, a non-executive director at Tottenham, told BBC Radio. "Whether Harry will be approached is not a foregone conclusion. If he is, then Harry has got a big decision to make.''
Even Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in on the issue, saying he was "sorry to see Fabio go.''
"I think he was a good coach and a good man. I don't think he was right about the John Terry issue. You can't be captain with that question mark that needs to be answered,'' Cameron said during a visit to Sweden, adding that he would comment on possible successors. "The day when the Prime Minister picks the England coach will be a very bad day for football but I am sure we will find someone really good and I am sure that we will play well when the time comes.''